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Dagalee Media: Memorial for Irreecha 2016 and fundraising for Eastern Oromia held in Pennsylvania October 11, 2017

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ACAPS: Ethiopia: Crisis Analysis October 11, 2017

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POLITICS AND SECURITY OVERVIEW

Latest update: 10/10/2017

Ethiopia lifted its state of emergency on 7 August.? It was first introduced on 9 October 2016, following protests mainly by the Oromo and Amhara populations, who together account for over half of Ethiopia’s population. Both ethnic groups were protesting against the Tigray-dominated government on issues including inequality, economic marginalisation, corruption, and lack of political space.?Defence, foreign ministry and other key government posts are held by Tigrayans, who account for 6% of the country’s population.??  Protests began in the Oromia region in November 2015, following a plan to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding land owned by Oromo farmers. In July 2016, the Amhara population began protesting. ? Violence escalated in October 2016 when over 50 people were killed during an Oromo religious festival that turned into an anti-government protest. At the beginning of the state of emergency, the government promised deep reform. In July 2017, the government announced a bill that includes measures such as making Afan Oromo an official language, setting up Afan Oromo schools in Addis Ababa, and establishing a joint council with the federal government to administer the city. Many deemed the bill  insufficient.? As of August, the government has not addressed fundamental issues such as demands to open up political space, and to allow dissent and tolerance of different perspectives.?In August, people in the Oromia region held a five-day strike to commemorate protesters killed during the 2016 protests. Some sources say the strike was also in protest of a tax increase for small business owners. ??

As of late September, clashes have been taking place among Oromo and Somali groups over border demarcations. The government announced they will place federal police at roads that cross both regions and that security forces of both regions will withdraw from border locations. They also stated they will disarm civilians living in the conflict areas.? There are diverging acounts of what is causing the clashes. Oromo officials have accused the Somali  police force, the Liyu police, of staging attacks in an attempt to drive Oromos out of border areas. While the Somali regional government claim it is members within the Oromo government in conjunction with the Oromo Liberation Front, a group that have been branded as terrorists by the government of Ethiopia. Tensions have existed between the two sides for years over border demarcations and competition over resources. Another view expressed by some activists is that the situation has been orchestrated by the central government, who are using the Liyu police to divert attention away from the issue of suppression of the Oromo people, whose concerns remain unaddressed despite the removal of the state of emergency. ??? ?

Media censorship is common in Ethiopia but was further reinforced following the state of emergency, with many journalists engaging in self-censorship to avoid harassment or arrests. Since 2010, at least 75 journalists have fled the country. Access to the internet is frequently blocked and international radio signals jammed. Social media was a key factor in mobilising protesters and is since carefully monitored by authorities. ?

HUMANITARIAN ACCESS OVERVIEW

The Nobel Prize In Economics Goes To American Richard Thaler For Work In Behavioral Economics October 11, 2017

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In this photo provided by the University of Chicago, Richard Thaler poses for a photo with his books at his home in Chicago after winning the Nobel prize in economics, on Monday.

Anne Ryan/AP

Updated at 7:20 a.m. ET

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago for his pioneering work in behavioral economics.

The announcement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm said the 72-year-old Thaler “has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making. By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes,” the committee said in a statement.

The relatively new field of behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, social, cognitive and emotional factors on economic decision-making.

“Human behavior is very complex. So, if we want to construct useful models of economic behavior, we have to make simplifications. One such simplification which has been very important in economics is the assumption that humans behave in a fully rational way and make economic decisions in a way as to maximize their own well-being,” Per Strömberg, chairman of the prize committee, said.

Over time, Strömberg said, researchers have gathered more evidence from psychology on how humans deviate from rational economic decisions. “Richard Thaler is a pioneer when it comes to incorporating such insights from psychology into economic analysis,” he said.

“Thanks to his contributions and discoveries, this new field [of behavioral economics] has gone from being sort of a fringe and somewhat controversial part of economics to being a mainstream area of contemporary economic research,” the chairman of the prize committee said.

Speaking from his home in the United States to a news conference at the Royal Academy, Thaler said he felt the most important impact of his work was “the recognition that economic agents are human.”

Thaler is the author of the books Nudge and Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics.

Among Thaler’s contributions to the field are his “theory of mental accounting, explaining how people simplify financial decision-making by creating separate accounts in their minds, focusing on the narrow impact of each individual decision rather than its overall effect,” the Academy said.

One area singled out by the committee is Thaler’s work on retirement savings. He was an early proponent of employers automatically enrolling their workers in 401(k) programs. He also developed a “Save More Tomorrow” retirement plan that encourages people to put future salary increases toward retirement.

Kenny Malone of NPR’s Planet Money says Thaler is “a bit of a rock star” in the field of economics.

“In terms of real-world implications, once you start to understand the ways that we are weird, irrational beings, you can structure policies to move people toward the ends that you would want,” Malone tells Morning Edition.

Thaler made a cameo in the movie The Big Short, where he explained the “hot-hand fallacy” about the belief that someone who has experienced success in something involving random chance has a greater chance of further success going forward.

Asked whether he thought that applied to President Trump, Thaler responded with a chuckle, “I think he would do well to watch that movie.”

When the same Swedish journalist asked what Thaler would do with the 9-million kronor ($1.1 million) monetary portion of the Nobel award, the economist: “I will say that I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible.”


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